Courses at other universities

Current Dal or King's students who have completed their first year of study may be able to take a course at another institution and obtain credit toward their Dalhousie degree. To do so, students must get approval before registering for the course at the other institution.

A Letter of Permission will be provided if all of the following conditions are met:

  • the student must be registered in a degree program and in good academic standing, i.e., students who have been academically dismissed or are on probation are not eligible.
  • the student must not owe money to Dalhousie.
  • the student has not exceeded the allowable number of transfer credits.
  • the course at the other institution is acceptable for transfer to Dalhousie.  The course is not offered via Challenge for Credit or Prior Learning Assessment and/or Recognition. Dalhousie will not accept challenge credits from other institutions on letter of permission.
  • the workload will not exceed Dalhousie's limitations.
  • the course is not offered at Dalhousie in the term in which the student wishes to take it; or the student has a scheduling conflict; or the course is full; or the student is living outside the local area.
  • If an equivalent class is available at Dalhousie, approval may not be granted.
  • A direct equivalency may not satisfy degree requirements. Confirm the class can fulfill degree requirements with your Academic Advisor before registering.

Be sure to start early. Obtaining permission can take some legwork and time.

Undergraduate students in the Faculties of Agriculture (Asst. Dean, Students), Engineering, Management, the Schools of Nursing and Health & Human Performance will require approval from their undergraduate advisor before a letter of permission will be approved by the Registrar's Office.

Graduate students can also obtain permission to take courses at other universities but should contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies for instructions.

Exchange and Study Abroad

Students pursuing an exchange or study abroad program through the Interntional Centre, Faculty of Management, Faculty of Computer Science or UPMC should submit a Learning Agreement.  

Students pursuing any other departmental exchange or study abroad program should submit a Letter of Permission and indicate "exchange" or "study abroad" as their reason for pursuing courses at another institution. Please read below for more information.

How to get a Letter of Permission

  1. Download the Letter of Permission form [PDF - 304kb] using Internet Explorer and read the instructions carefully. Save the form to your desktop before completing it to enable electronic signature capabilities.

    If you will receive a government student loan while on a letter of permission or exchange, you must complete a Confirmation of Registration at Host University form.

  2. Indicate the course you wish to take at another institution. Note: you would be considered a visiting student at that institution.

    Dal Online Transfer Equivalencies:
    Use this online tool to check courses at other institutions that have previously been approved as transfer credits. If you see a course listed in this database, you still need to go through the Letter of Permission process, outlined below. Previous approval doesn't guarantee that you'll be permitted to take the course.

  3. Get course approval.
    If the request is for a course that has been approved for transfer previously (see above), the Registrar's Office/Sexton Service Centre/Enrolment Services Centre can authorize the equivalent.

    If the course has not been previously approved, you will need to provide a official copy of the course description and syllabus to the department that offers similar courses. Course descriptions/syllabi are considered official if they meet one of the below requirements:
  • Printed or electronic copies from the Institution’s website
  • Links to the page on the Institution’s website which contains the course description/syllabus
  • Photocopies from the Institution’s academic calendar
  • Any other documentation bearing the Institution’s seal or an official signature

Course descriptions/syllabi must be from the academic calendar year in which the course(s) were taken. All course descriptions/syllabi must be provided in English. Any translated course descriptions/syllabi must be stamped, signed, and certified in order to be considered official.

If you are submitting information electronically, forward information from its original source (ie. previous post-secondary institution, representative, or instructor of the course) to authenticate the information being sent. Each department handles letters of permission differently, so ask them to go over their procedure. A faculty member at the department will consider the course. If they approve, they'll sign your form.

Please note: The Department of Economics requires the calendar duration of a course (when the course starts and when it ends) and a link to the course information on the host institution's website for letter of permission transfer credit assessments.

4. Bring the signed form to the Registrar's Office in the Henry Hicks Academic Administration Building, the Sexton Student Service Centre in Building B off Barrington St, or the Enrolment Services Centre in the Cox Institute room 100 in Truro. Usually, the approval can be finalized on the spot.  Or email the form to, or fax it to 902-494-1630.

5. Apply to the other institution and send them a copy of your approved Letter of Permission. They may also require an official Dalhousie transcript. Contact the Registrar's Office at the other institution to confirm their admission and Letter of Permission procedures.

6. Register in the course. Consult the other institution's website.

7. After completing the course, have an official transcript sent to the Dalhousie Registrar's Office to receive credit for it. Certain local institutions, such as St. Mary's University, may supply Dalhousie with a list of students who have completed courses as visiting students and do not need to have a transcript forwarded. Check with the Registrar's Office at the institution to be sure.

Aiming to graduate this year? Your Dalhousie academic record will not be updated with your LOP grades until an official transcript is provided. If this is your last course before graduation, the timing of when official transcript are made available at the other institution may delay your graduation. The Dalhousie Registrar’s Office typically needs to receive final official transcripts by May 1 for Spring Graduation or September 1 for Fall Graduation.

For courses taken at Canadian institutions, the letter grade from the other institution will be recorded on your Dalhousie record. If letter grades are not given, numeric grades will be converted to the appropriate Dalhousie equivalent letter grade.

If the other institution issues a letter grade that is not valid at Dalhousie, it is converted to the corresponding letter grade. For example a grade of D+ will be recorded on your academic record as a grade of D. When percentage grades and letter grades are recorded on the official transcript, the letter grade is the grade used as your final grade and recorded on your academic record.

For courses that the other institution identifies on the transcript as being passesd through challenge for credit, it will not be accepted by Dalhousie and you will not receive credit for the course.

For courses taken at institutions outside of Canada, grades of P (pass) and F (fail), as appropriate, will be recorded on your Dalhousie record.  

Did not register for an approved course?
Email before the add/drop date of the term to have the course removed from your Dal record. After the deadline, please have the other institution notify the Registrar's Office at Dalhousie that you did not register for the course.